Readthebyline, trained by Rick Schosberg, is the slight morning-line favorite at 9-5 for today’s Evan Shipman for New York-breds off a six-length optional claiming win at Belmont Park on June 22.
The Evan Shipman, run at nine furlongs on the main track, will be his stakes debut and first try at longer than a mile and a sixteenth.
Groomedforvictory, an 8-year-old gelding with a 10-9-6 record from 36 starts, is 2-1 and also coming off an nice win, by 5 1⁄2 lengths in a seven-furlong optional claimer at Belmont.
The front-running Readthebyline has run against open company his last four straight races and has fared well, winning two and finishing third once.
“Sometimes, horses jump up and run a big one,” Schosberg said of Readthebyline’s last start. “When he had the lead turning for home, I started walking downstairs [to the winner’s circle]. Even if he runs fast fractions, he has a good chance to win if he has a lead, because he blows up with confidence.
“He has the tactical advantage of being a speedy horse. A lot of that had to do with building confidence with wins over allowance horses. That, in turn, helped him physically in terms of relaxing.”
Awesome Vision, 3-1 for West Point Thoroughbreds, is looking for his second stakes win, after dead-heating with New York-bred champion Saginaw in the Compelling Word in March.
“We’re going two turns this time around, and I think that will really help him quite a bit,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “He’s coming off a good third, and he’s been training well off that race. He’s had a little freshening, and everything is looking good. He would benefit from a good pace. He does like to make a good closing kick. In most of his races, it looks like he’s not going to get up, and then makes a late run.”